Thursday, 25 November 2021

Electronic Toll Collection to Be Introduced in Entire Croatia

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - State secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Tomislav Mihotić, confirmed in parliament on Thursday that electronic toll collection (ETC) would be introduced throughout Croatia, and the intention is for the system to be unified in the entire European Union.

In the end, there will be no toll booths on the motorway, Mihotić said in response to Marina Opačak Bilić's (Social Democrats Group) question of whether modernizing the ETC was considered, like in some other countries.

Presenting the amendments to the roads act, the state secretary said their goal was to ensure free passage through all places which today had toll booths.

This means that vehicles will be registered in another way, by recording the licence plate of a vehicle, and then the ETC will automatically collect money, there will be no traffic jams or additional pollution that occurs at these locations, he said.

He added that the funds for introducing the ETC, HRK 500 million (€67 million), had been provided in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO).

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Remains of Homeland War Victims Found in Eastern Croatia

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - The remains of at least five persons which, according to preliminary findings, dating back to the Homeland War, were found in the Bobota area in Vukovar-Srijem County on Thursday as part of the tracing of those who disappeared in the 1991-95 war.

The war veterans ministry said it had organized the exhumation of the remains and further search of the site.

The remains will be taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute in Zagreb for processing and identification.

Croatia is still looking for 1,853 persons gone missing in the Homeland War, including 520 from Vukovar-Srijem County.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Sovereignists Want Parliament to Approve COVID Response Team's Decisions

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - The opposition Croatian Sovereignists want the Civil Protection System Act to be amended so that parliament could approve decisions made by the national COVID-19 crisis management team, and began on Thursday to collect signatures to table the motion.

The party wants the decisions the team makes to protect people from infectious diseases to enter into force only after being approved by parliament.

The crisis management team is an artificially created body with artificial powers which, by its decisions, restricts citizens' liberties, and only parliament should decide on that, MP Marijan Pavliček told the press.

MP Vesna Vučemilović said parliament should take a more active part in decision-making on COVID rules, adding that a more active engagement by all political actors would defuse the tensions in society.

Members of parliament should say what they think of any measure proposed by the crisis management team, said MP Hrvoje Zekanović, adding that "decisions should be made in parliament, not by some para-body."

MP Marko Milanović Litre said the government must take responsibility for the team's decisions.

Asked about Austria's initiative to ban the Bleiburg commemoration, Pavliček said Croatia's diplomacy must fight for the commemoration to continue to take place, adding that "in the past few years, that gathering was dignified, without any World War II insignia."

The gathering is held annually in Loibach Field near Bleiburg, Austria to commemorate soldiers of the Nazi-allied Croatian Ustasha regime and civilians killed there at the end of WWII.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Parliament Marks Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - The Croatian parliament on Thursday observed a minute of silence to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Let us pay tribute to all women who have been victims of violence, and let us raise awareness in society through personal action about the need to protect them, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković told members of parliament.

He called on all institutions to step up the punishment of those who commit violence against women.

The parliament observed a minute of silence at the incentive of MP Sandra Benčić of the opposition Green-Left Bloc.

We want to point to the alarming fact that every 15 minutes a woman is a victim of domestic violence, and today, every 15 minutes, alarms will sound in the parliament to show how often women are victims of violence, she said.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Minister Worried About Drugs in Military

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - Defence Minister Mario Banožić on Wednesday expressed concern about narcotics in the military, saying they should be eradicated after a member of the special forces commands tested positive for cocaine.

"A clear instruction about zero tolerance has been given. Constant checks are being done. In that way, there are certain results every week and I am sure that we will eradicate this thing from the Croatian Army," the minister told Nova TV.

He said this was not a new problem and that no one wanted to tackle it seriously until now.

The latest case was discovered on Monday during extraordinary testing at Lora Naval Base in Split as part of the month of combating addiction.

It was not the first time that cocaine was discovered among members of the special forces command and Banožić said the whole situation worried him.

"As soon as you have any form of addiction in the environment, of course, it's not healthy and as such, it can't be part of the Croatian Army, as a moral message to society as well as for the development of Croatian soldiers in the system."

Earlier this month, police discovered five kilos of marijuana in the family house of an active serviceman in Dalmatia.

Asked if the drugs were for personal use or if this was something bigger, the minister said "there are certain conclusions based on the investigation done by the military criminal police that it's a larger quantity, just as the marijuana case we had last week. It seems there were five kilos. It suggests that it was not only for personal consumption."

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Croatia Reports 6,246 New Coronavirus Cases, 64 Deaths

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - Croatia has registered 6,246 new coronavirus cases and 64 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national COVID-19 response team reported on Thursday.

Currently, there are 34,953 active cases and 2,529 patients are receiving hospital treatment, including 316 who are placed on ventilators. 29,853 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 589,015 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 10,569 have died and 543,493 have recovered, including 4,792 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,396,608 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to date, including 15,526 in the last 24 hours.

As of Wednesday, 4,047,302 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 53.02 percent of the total population, or 63.28 percent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. 2,151,481 people have received at least one dose and 1,912,240 have been fully vaccinated, which is 56.50 percent of the adult population.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

New Hajduk Fan Song Features Legendary Mišo Kovać and TBF's Saša Antić

November 25, 2021 - A new Hajduk fan song was released on Thursday - a duet including Croatian music icon Mate Mišo Kovač and Split musician Saša Antić, which many may already recognize. 

In 1975, Hajduk won the championship, and Mate Mišo Kovač won the Split Festival with the song "I can't help but love her." At the time, he could not even imagine that 46 years later, at the invitation of Hajduk, he would have the opportunity to sing a fan version of the song that has been regularly heard in the stands of his favorite club since the mid-1980s, reports the Hajduk href="https://hajduk.hr/php/vijesti_vijest.php?vijest=14346&18s8fnch=neuriyf3bbf4y3vf64" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website.

The verses “In happy days, in rough days, I can do nothing but love them. Because Hajduk is what makes me happy. I can't help but love them," will now be set to music and preserved in a new version co-signed by the famous Split songwriter and musician Saša Antić. More than two months ago, Mišo agreed to cooperate with Hajduk. As the beginning of the campaign, the song was premiered on Radio Dalmatia and immediately provoked emotions and positive reactions from many Hajduk fans.

You can listen to the song HERE

President Lukša Jakobušić emphasized: “If we were guided exclusively by pure logic, starting with ourselves, some things are simply inexplicable. Hajduk is one, and I think the emotion it evokes is very well reflected through Mišo's songs. As the great ambassador of Hajduk for more than half a century, Mišo is the ideal person for this cooperation and deserves the attention that Hajduk and the fans can give him." 

Mate Mišo Kovač, a Dalmatian identity, and big Hajduk fan, stated briefly: “I have been supporting Hajduk for 65 years, and I have been the strongest Hajduk player in all that time while in Zagreb. No one has ever approached me or said a rude word about it because everyone knows that Hajduk and Split live in me honestly and without calculation. That's why at the first invitation from Hajduk to sing the fan chorus of my song, I felt that energy again and immediately said… yes! Because I can't help but love them." 

Board member Marinka Akrap spoke more about the project: "The time we live in is certainly not the best, but the more we have reason to be positive and send some good messages of hope and togetherness. Sport and music create a special emotion, and we wanted the well-known connection between Hajduk and Mišo to be permanently recorded. I am thrilled that the collaboration was accepted by Saša Antić, who gave a new fan expression to Mišo's great hit. We combined both modern and urban with the legendary hit, and most importantly, throughout the song, there is a great deal of emotion. We hope to be able to pass on this feeling of love and connection of generations to all people of goodwill, and for all fans, we have prepared special products with the image of Mišo that will cheer them up during the holidays."

The song was created in the jubilee year of Hajduk's 110th birthday and the 80th birthday of Mišo Kovač. With the artistic spirit of the inspiring Saša Antić, the song gained a new dimension, returning that childhood feeling, first attachment to Hajduk, and the good and the bad.

"To reflect in football jargon, I already played a lot of games, but I still can't see what happened to me. A collaboration with Mišo, to Runjić's music, and in a letter to Hajduk. Simply amazing. I must also mention that the author of the original text is Drago Britvić and composer Stipica Kalođer, and also that the sentence "I can't help but love her" is my mother's favorite, so that is it. As for my text, it is about 15 years old, and in it, I collected memories of my days coaching football, first in Lavčević and then in Hajduk, and turned them into a story from my childhood neighborhood. If we are going to look for a message, it would be that everything, in the end, is just a game and love. But a title would come in handy," said Antić.

The families of the authors of the song's original version - Runjić, Britvić, Kalođera - and the record companies Croatia Records and Suzy selflessly gave the Club the rights to use it, while the Queen media agency is responsible for the audio and video production of the new song.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Croatia, France Sign New Strategic Partnership Agreement

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and French President Emmanuel Macron signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement in Government House on Thursday, which will further strengthen relations between Zagreb and Paris.

The agreement was signed after their bilateral meeting.

France and Croatia already agreed on a strategic partnership in 2010, but the new agreement will expand and deepen it to a number of new areas. It will be a framework for the further strengthening of relations with that country, it was announced.

With the new strategic partnership, France is supporting Croatia in several areas, political, economic, and cultural, including those that are Zagreb's strategic goals - entry into the Schengen Area and the eurozone, and Croatia's membership in the OECD, Croatian sources said earlier.

After meeting with President Zoran Milanović earlier today, Macron hinted that France would support's Croatia's Schengen Area entry.

He said France and Croatia would continue to cooperate in security and migration, and "there's also Schengen."

Croatia expects that the legal process of making a formal decision to join Schengen could begin in December this year during Slovenia's EU presidency, and the final decision made during the French presidency in the first half of next year.

France's support is also important in light of the fact that France is one of the core members of the EU, but also one of the most influential countries in the world. It is the only permanent member of the Security Council from the EU, the number one military and nuclear power of the bloc, and the seventh-largest world economy.

The new strategic partnership also includes chapters on defence issues, economic relations, cultural, scientific, academic, and administrative cooperation.

The idea of ​​the new strategic partnership is also for "Croatia to become a privileged partner of France in this part of Europe," sources said earlier.

Macron's visit to Croatia is taking place ahead of the French takeover of the six-month presidency of the EU Council from January 1 next year, and in 2022, the current head of state will run again in France's presidential elections.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Croatia, France Sign Deal on Purchase of Rafale Squadron

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - Croatia and France signed an agreement in Zagreb on Thursday on the purchase of French Rafale fighter jets, which will raise the defense capability of the Croatian Army to a much higher level.

The agreement was signed by the two countries' defence ministers, Mario Banožić and Florence Parly, in the presence of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and French President Emmanuel Macron, who arrived on Wednesday for the first official bilateral visit of a French president to Croatia.

Croatia is buying from France 12 Dassault Rafale F3R used multipurpose fighter jets - ten single-seats and two two-seaters - for €999 million to be paid in five installments from 2022 to 2026.

"Those agreements open a new dimension and page in strengthening the defence capabilities of the Croatian Army, the Croatian Air Force. Strategic partnership," Plenković said at a government session on Wednesday.

He had previously stressed that "the acquisition of Rafale fighter jets is strategically changing Croatia's position in the military and defence context, in terms of strength towards international partners, security alliances and coalitions".

On the occasion of signing the agreement, two Rafales flew over Zagreb, exactly the same kind that Croatia is procuring from France.

The first planes are expected to arrive in Croatia in late 2023 or early 2024.

In 2007, Rafale jets proved themselves in Afghanistan, then in Libya, the Sahel, and the Middle East, and in 2015, the first sales of those planes started in Egypt, Qatar, and India a year later.

Croatia is the second country in the European Union after Greece to buy Rafale, and the French bid was chosen in competition with the American (new F-16 Block 70), Swedish (new JAS 39 Gripen), and Israeli (used F-16 Barak) planes.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Macron Hints at French Support for Croatia's Admission to Schengen Area

ZAGREB, 25 Nov 2021 - President Emmanuel Macron said in Zagreb on Thursday that France and Croatia would continue cooperating in the sectors of security and migrations, and hinted at French support for Croatia's plan to join the Schengen Area.

Marcon was received by Croatian President Zoran Milanović in his office on Thursday morning with the highest state honors.

Addressing the press after their talks, Milanović said that it was a special honor for him to receive the French head of state.

Macron said that he was proud of being the first French president to visit Croatia since the country gained independence. He said that it was unfair that no French president had visited Croatia before.

Announcing the continuation of cooperation between the two countries in the sectors of security and migrations, Macron added, "Schengen is also here."

Croatia expects the legal procedure for a formal decision on its accession to the Schengen Area to be launched this December when Slovenia is still the chair of the Council of the European Union, and the final decision to be made in the first half of 2022 when France presides over the EU.

Milanović and Macron also discussed the procurement of 12 Rafale fighter jets from France for the Croatian Air Forces.

"This is a big deal in Croatia, both strategically and financially. I am happy about that," Milanović said, adding that the strengthening of Croatia's defence cooperation with France did not mean a halt in cooperation with the United States.

"We have cooperated and we will cooperate with the USA," he said.

During the reception at the Pantovčak presidential office, Macron also held a brief meeting with Croatian pilots who will be trained to fly 12 Dassault Rafale F3R used multipurpose fighter jets.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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